We’re dreaming of a waste free Christmas 

Published: Tuesday 7 December 2021

Councillor John Anderson, wearing party hat and Christmas tie sits at a small table tucking into a Christmas dinner, with one of the council's refuse vehicles bearing the food waste campaign advert, behind him.

Households in South Lanarkshire are urged to give a gift to the planet this year by putting recycling on top of the festive list.

With the countdown to Christmas well underway, the council’s Waste Awareness team has issued its own ‘nice list’ of environmental tips in support of the annual campaign by Zero Waste Scotland

Designed to help us remember the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – the campaign has also revealed some surprising statistics about festive habits in Scotland. 

Did you know:

  • Scots are expected to send 95 million Christmas cards this year 
  • More than half a million ‘real’ trees are bought in Scotland each year 
  • Nearly 50,000 tonnes of food and drink is expected to be binned in December 
  • 19,000 miles of wrapping paper is used on average each Christmas 

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of the Community and Enterprise Resources Committee wants the council and its communities to work together to ensure a greener, cheaper Christmas for 2021. 

He said: “We all want to save money at this time of year, but often the solutions are simpler than we think. For example, we can each reduce the amount of food waste we produce by buying less and making more use of leftovers. Writing a shopping list and planning ahead can help prevent food waste and save money – up to £37 per household, based on recent Zero Waste Scotland figures. 

“But, even with the best planning, you'll probably still have some food waste and your kitchen caddy can take it all.  As a council, we are working hard to meet Scottish Government targets on waste and recycling and the throwing out of excess food is something we can all tackle. I for one, am looking forward to my turkey curry and turkey sandwiches this festive season.

“Re-using is also a habit many of us now employ, from gift bags and boxes to wrapping paper and even unwanted gifts, just unwrap carefully and remove tags, ready to use again next Christmas.” 

For items that can’t be re-used there is recycling. Paper, card and cardboard are all easily recyclable in your blue bin.

Added Councillor Anderson: “Remember, glittery cards and foil are not suitable for recycling, and many retailers now only sell ‘glitter-free’ cards and paper for that very reason. As for wrapping, if you can scrunch it up and it stays ‘scrunched’ it can be recycled in your blue bin. Glass can be recycled over and over again so just get rid of it all in your light grey bin and, you never know, it may even find its way back to you next Christmas!” 

The council will once again collect and recycle real Christmas trees this year. Those with a burgundy bin for food and garden waste can leave their tree beside the bin on its scheduled collection day during January for collection. Those without a burgundy bin, or with one for communal food waste only, should call 0303 123 1020 to arrange a collection before Friday 7 January 2022. 

You can find out more about what we do with your food waste, and how to order food liners on the dedicated page of our website. 

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